Expert: Political pressure on Armenia needed to resolve Karabakh conflict
Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 9
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
Usage of diplomatic language alone, without real political pressure asserted, will not change the current situation of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict , Andre Widmer, Swiss journalist and author of the book titled “The Forgotten Conflict: Two Decades after the Nagorno-Karabakh War”, told Trend on Aug. 9, commenting on the recent (Aug. 7) attack of the Armenian Armed Forces against Azerbaijani civilian population.
As a result of the deliberate targeting of the civilian population and precise shelling of the settlements located in the areas of the line of contact and along the borderline with Azerbaijan by Armenian side on August 7, 13-year-old resident of Garalar village of Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district Ramil Yusibov was wounded.
“Unfortunately, Karabakh conflict, lost in the shadows of the wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Ukraine and the North Korean crisis, seems to have been forgotten by the international community,” Widmer said. “Notwithstanding April, 2016 escalation, it seems that some key players like Russia and the U.S. are still not willing to put enough energy and effort to resolve the conflict.”
“Nearly 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory is still occupied by Armenia, which prevents almost million refugees from the return to their homes. This is unacceptable,” he noted.
Keys to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict lie in Moscow, expert added.
“Russia has the economical and political strength to bring Armenia to the point of ending the occupation,” he said. “The first step could be comprised of liberation of the occupied districts around Nagorno-Karabakh, which would allow the return of refugees to their homes. However unfortunate, I think that Russia is not actually interested in the resolution of conflicts in post-Soviet expanse.”
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.